Entertainer-actor Lilly Singh, who has just penned her second book, says she has been doing short comedy for quite some time and now wants to get into more long-form script writing for movies and TV shows.
Be a Triangle: How I Went from Being Lost to Getting My Life into Shape, published by Pan Macmillan India, in which Singh shares her personal struggles with identity, self-sabotage and negative thought patterns, was, however, "really hard to write".
She had five false starts with writing it. "I started writing and would delete. I even tried getting out of writing this book! I called my manager being like, 'I can't do this'. It was super hard because it required me to go on a journey and do some really deep work that was scary and uncomfortable to do," Singh said in an email interview.
But she is quite satisfied with the result. "I call this book, 'the blueprint for making a safe space in your mind'. I think it's relevant for anyone looking to find more satisfaction in their day to day lives. The tools in the book have proven helpful for me to find more stability in my life, which has helped me to be happier too. It is concise by design as I want it to be a book that people can have as a reference anytime they need it," she says.
Singh decided to write Be A Triangle…", a follow-up to "How To Be A Bawse, because, during the pandemic, "I realised that who I am as a person, what my values are, what I want to achieve out of life, what my moral compass is, all fluctuated a lot day to day".
She goes on to add: "If something was going great in my life, I'd be super grateful. I'd be a different person, when something was going bad and suddenly my entire moral compass would change. I would have a different viewpoint on life, and I didn't understand who I was, changing so much from day to day. So I concluded that I needed to build a strong foundation of who I am that doesn't waver."
According to Singh, her goal in writing this book is to have built such a solid foundation based on the ideas of the book that these words will apply years from now to her life and her readers' lives. On her next writing venture, she says, "I definitely want to get into more long-form script writing for movies and TV shows. I have done short form comedy for so long, and now I feel ready to expand into more complex stories, character development, backstories, and showing different point of views."
For Singh, who writes, directs, produces and stars in comedy and inspirational videos, the definition of happiness should not always remain the same. "Right now, happiness is to work on something really meaningful, be present to it and enjoy myself. My goal is to come home at the end of the day and say, 'that was a lot of fun and I made really great memories'.
"Also, happiness for me is doing meaningful work while being surrounded by great people. Whether it is friends or someone you work with, being able to make real connections with people is how I define happiness, as well," she says. Meditation, which she talks a lot about in her book, is Singh's favourite stress buster.
"I started meditating regularly about a year and a half ago. I don't have one specific way to do it, but the most common way I practice is going through the four pillars I discuss in 'Be A Triangle' (a relationship with myself, a relationship with the universe, understanding distraction, and implementing design)," she says.
She also rues that in some cultures in the world, including in India, women are told what to do. But she feels that is changing. "… I think there's this universal culture of trying to control women in different ways that we really need to tackle. I talk about it a lot in my Ted Talk, but I think it will take a big shift in culture to make it happen. I am trying to be a part of that change," Singh says.